Honors Colloquium

Our biannual book discussion and common reading for all students in the Honors College
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What is ​Colloquium?

Each semester, all Honors College students explore a new topic through a common reading.  We come together for one night over a meal and share thoughts in small groups led by university faculty and staff members.  Generally, the discussion is accompanied by a keynote, expert panel, or other group activity.  

Colloquium topics are drawn from all areas of study.  Recent topics have included books on honesty, free speech, DNA and genetics, local food movements and sustainability, economics, immigration and American identities, and victorian vampires.  We read novels, non-fiction, and sometimes even graphic novels and comics.  Colloquium is never the same twice, and by the time you graduate you'll have read a diversity of topics that help stretch your knowledge in news and unexpected ways.  

Faculty & Staff interested in participating should contact the Honors College office​ for more information or to sign up to be a table leader.

Past Colloquium topics

2017-18: The Year of Conversation

  • Spring '18: A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares by ​Krystal Sutherland
  • Fall '17: How Does it Feel to Be a Problem: Being Young and Arab in America by Moustafa Bayoumi

2016-17: The Year of Curiosity

  • Spring '17: What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe
  • Fall '16: Nonsense: The Power of Not Knowing by Jamie Holmes​ 

2015-16  

  • Spring '16: Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast
  • Fall '15: Unlearning Liberty by Greg Lukianoff

2014-15

  • Spring '15: Running the Books by Avi Steinberg
  • ​Fall '14: The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty by Dan Ariely

2013-14

  • Spring '14: Dracula by Bram Stoker
  • Fall '13: The Good Food Revolution by Will Allen​

2012-13

  • Spring '13: Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie - A Tale of Love and Fallout by Lauren Redniss​
  • Fall '12: The Return of Depression Economics and the Crisis of 2008 by Paul Krugman

2011-12

  • Spring '12: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
  • Fall '11: The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt​

2010-11

  • Spring '11: "Introduction to Freud's Dream Psychology" by Andre Tridon & "A Counterblast in the War on Freud: The Shrink is In" by Jonathan Lear
  • Fall '10: Apology by Plato​

2009-10

  • Spring '10: Satchmo: the Genius of Louis Armstrong by Gary Giddins​
  • Fall '09: Roving Mars: Spirit, Opportunity, and the Exploration of the Red Planet by Steve Squyres

2008-09

  • Spring '09: Clash of Civilizations by Samuel Huntington & Amartya Sen
  • Fall '08: Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation by Joseph Ellis

2007-08

  • Spring '08: The Ethics of What We Eat by Peter Singer & Jim Mason​
  • Fall '07: "Pearls Before Breakfast" by Gene Weingarten, Washington Post

Upcoming book: Spring 2018

Book Cover Spring 2018 - A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares by Krystal S​utherland

​​From the author of Our Chemical Hearts comes the hilarious, reality-bending tale of two outsiders facing their greatest fears about life and love—one debilitating phobia at a time.
 
Ever since Esther Solar's grandfather was cursed by Death, everyone in her family has been doomed to suffer one great fear in their lifetime. Esther's father is agoraphobic and hasn't left the basement in six years, her twin brother can't be in the dark without a light on, and her mother is terrified of bad luck. The Solars are consumed by their fears and, according to the legend of the curse, destined to die from them. Esther doesn't know what her great fear is yet (nor does she want to), a feat achieved by avoiding pretty much everything. Elevators, small spaces and crowds are all off-limits. So are haircuts, spiders, dolls, mirrors and three dozen other phobias she keeps a record of in her semi-definitive list of worst nightmares.
Then Esther is pickpocketed by Jonah Smallwood, an old elementary school classmate. Along with her phone, money and a fruit roll-up she'd been saving, Jonah also steals her list of fears. Despite the theft, Esther and Jonah become friends, and he sets a challenge for them: in an effort to break the curse that has crippled her family, they will meet every Sunday of senior year to work their way through the list, facing one terrifying fear at a time...